NOV 08, 2017 6:37 AM PST

Why do I get bags under my eyes?


Does it seem like no matter how much sleep you get or how unstressed you are, you continuously have dark circles under your eyes? Well turns out that you're not alone. In fact, the reason you might have dark bags under your eyes could be more so to do with your skin than your sleep. Because the skin under your eyes is thin and doesn't have much fat, the blood vessels that go through it appear darker than on other parts of your body. Sometimes people with more melanin in their skin also can have a condition called periorbital hyperpigmentation, which just means that you produce extra melanin below your eyes.

Although genetics and the thickness of your skin definitely play a part, being tired or stressed really can affect you too. This is because when you're tired or stressed your body produces more cortisol, which works to constrict certain blood vessels and dilate others. If the vessels that are dilated are those little ones under your eyes, this could make your bags seem more prominent. The same effect happens from dilation when you have allergies or any sort of congestion because of histamines. (That and rubbing your eyes, which only makes them puffier!) Want to learn more about those pesky bags? Watch the video!
About the Author
BA Environmental Studies
Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
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